Adam’s Hand® is the world’s first fully-adaptive bionic hand designed and developed to simplify the life of patients thanks to its technology, which guarantees a natural and intuitive control of the device.
Want to find out more? We are going to explain everything in this blog article. But let’s start from the beginning…
What does it really mean to design and develop ‘’a bionic hand’’?
If you have landed here, maybe you are curious to discover more about what, not in technical jargon, is called ‘’bionic hand’’.
”Bionic” is a widely used term in recent years, especially after the significant developments in the medtech industry, which ended up taking on a rich range of meanings.
Even when we associate the word ‘bionic’ to a feature of the human being, often people attribute to it the signifier of ‘superhuman’– let’s think about how many times we have heard about bionic force, bionic vision, bionic hearing, etc.
It’s defined as bionic everything created on the inspiration of biological structures and mechanisms.
This is the starting point of our ambition, turned into a main goal: obtaining information to create devices capable of performing the functions of living organisms.
What is Adam’s Hand®?
If you already follow us on our social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin o Tik Tok) or if you landed on our site in the past, you may already know something about our project and mission, both as a company and as professionals, in society.
Adam’s Hand is a multi-articulating myoelectric prosthesis, a non-invasive medical device for individuals with mono- or bi-lateral amputations, starting from a transradial amputation level.
In addition, the Adam’s Hand is controlled by EMG signals generated by the muscle contraction of the user, detected and then processed through Wave Electrodes – our EMG surface analog electrodes with compact and waterproof design, embedded in the prosthetic socket.
In this way the user is able to easily open or close the hand with flexion or extension of the remaining limb muscles.
To better explain all the features of the Adam’s Hand, it is essential to get closer to the device by discovering the testing activities we did to validate our products.
For this reason this is only the first article in a series that will tell you more about the innovative features of our prosthetic device, and of the entire range of BionIT Labs products!
Why is the Adam’s Hand the first of its kind?
Although today multi-articulating hands should represent the most advanced prosthesis available on the market, tridigital hands are still preferred by the majority of patients: still today the tridigital devices are easier to use, more robust and lighter than their “technological” counterparts.
The use of multi-articulating hands, in fact, often involves an excessive psychological load for patients, due to the difficult and long training needed to learn how to use these devices correctly.
Even for a trained individual, being forced to change grip through co-contractions, double or triple impulses during everyday activities often results in increased muscle fatigue and longer times to perform gripping actions.
For this reason, the use of poly-articulated prostheses is unnatural, and not spontaneous.
This, over time, makes the prosthesis almost useless, eventually leading patients to abandon it without improving their quality of life.
Moreover, poly-articulated hands are often chosen for their greater dexterity and anthropomorphic appearance, which allow patients to perform a greater variety of daily life actions than tridigital devices.
The goal of Adam’s Hand is to bridge the gap between tridigital and poly-articulated prostheses, providing patients with an easy-to-use, robust and highly anthropomorphic device to support them perfectly in all the main activities of daily life.
That’s why the Adam’s Hand is the first of its kind.
The Natural Control
As we already told you, switching from one grip to another, the patient won’t have to perform complex muscle contractions. He only decides whether to open or close Adam’s Hand, so the fingers will automatically adapt to the shape and size of the grasped objects.
In this way patients learn quickly and in an extremely intuitive way how to use the device and that leads to the most natural control they can experiment with a poly-articulated prosthesis: the prosthesis becomes an extension of the user’s body, facilitating the ‘’embodiment’’ of the device and reducing its rejection rate, concretely improving the quality of life of patients.
Testing natural control: validation with SHAP test
How did we validate the functionality of our device in daily life? Did we use measurable tools to test its effectiveness?
We can answer with an acronym: the SHAP test! The Southampton Hand Assessment Procedure (SHAP) is a clinical hand function validation test developed in 2002 at the University of Southampton to assess the effectiveness of upper limb prostheses.
Currently, SHAP is also applied to the assessment of a patient’s musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, monitoring their progress over time.
But what does the test actually consist of? The patient is invited to perform some tasks that can be divided as follows:
- grasp 6 different types of objects with different shapes (for example, a ball, a cylinder, etc.) each of which is present both in a heavy version, in metal material, and in a light version, in chipboard.
- carry out 14 Daily Life Activities (Activities of Daily Living: ADL), how to close and open a zip, use a knife, unscrew the lid of a jar, etc.
Each activity is timed by the patient himself, so the reaction times of the observer or doctor don’t affect the test results.
In BionIT Labs, every time we use the SHAP test we take more awareness about the fundamental moment of interaction with the patient it creates.
Definitely it has a great impact on those who try the device for the first time: the speed with which you “learn” to use it almost always surprises the user, because it has the immediate understanding of the simplicity of use of the Adam’s Hand.
In addition, on this occasion a valuable confrontation with the patient ends up to be essential, because it allows us to fully understand his needs, his preferences and the elements he wants for his ideal device.
This is a great valuable element for our professionals, who will be able to follow up any useful input to make the device increasingly functional, practical and intuitive.
Our Bionic Revolution
So what do you think? We hope that our article interested or intrigued you a bit.
As mentioned, this is only the first of a series of tech articles in which we will tell you, in pills, all the features of BionIT Labs products.
This is an occasion for us to go in depth of the projects, skills, dreams and technology that we use every day to realize an ambitious project: our bionic revolution with the Adam’s Hand!
For this reason, our commitment is to create technological applications that offer new possibilities to everybody, to transform and significantly improve the quality of life of individuals and of the whole society.
Follow us on our social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin or Tik Tok) to see our device in action and to follow step by step the R&D activities of our team!